Program Notes from An All Beethoven Program

Program Notes from An All Beethoven Program
Masterworks I
September 17, 2016 | 8 p.m.
Theater at North, Scranton
September 18, 2016 | 3 p.m.
The Kirby Center from Creative Arts, Wyoming Seminary, Kingston

 

By Peter Wynne

We open the 45th season of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic with an all-Beethoven program as the orchestra and our music director, Lawrence Loh, explore three works by one of classical music’s greatest composers.

 

We begin the program with the overture to Beethoven’s only full-length ballet score, The Creatures of Prometheus,” and follow it with his third piano concerto with pianist Shai Wosner at the keyboard. After intermission, we wind things up with the “Eroica” Symphony, the composer’s third outing in the symphonic form.

 

Beethoven in the Early 1800s

The three works on our bill premiered in just over four years at the start of the 19th century: the ballet on March 28th, 1801; the concerto two years and eight days later, and the symphony two years after that — on April 7th, 1805. And yet the three inhabit very different musical worlds.

 

Beethoven (born Bonn, 1770; died Vienna, 1827) had come to Vienna from Bonn in 1792, and he had quickly gained the patronage of several important noblemen — Prince Karl Lichnowsky, Prince Franz Joseph von Lobkowitz and Baron Gottfried van Swieten among them.